I am making a skirt with 2 underskirts, all made of georgette (the top skirt will actually be partly lycra, but I am assuming they are all the same for my calculation). I needed to work out how much fabric to order. Each skirt has 4 panels, and needs to be cut on the bias on a fabric of 112cm width. Using the following diagram (not to scale, but I did one of cut out paper which was to scale) I was able to estimate that I need 3m fabric per skirt. Therefore 9m fabric for the whole skirt. I then added 2m for floats etc.
You might notice that I have taken off the waist-hip section of my previous pattern. This is because I will be making that out of lycra as part of the body section of the dress. My understanding is that georgette is not suitable for making the body or any section that needs to be stretchy.
I made a test skirt to check the pattern worked. It was a mini version!
As my plan is based on body suit + skirt, I need to create a pattern for a skirt. Once I have a basic pattern I will be able to modify it as needed to make it into a dress.
To get a simple ballroom skirt pattern I copied a practice skirt I have. It is based on a circle skirt but it is fitted from waist to hip to allow for a sleeker outline, better movement and modesty (if the skirt ever flew up that high, seems unlikely but maybe for a latin skirt variation it might help). The pattern below is for 1/4 of the skirt, i.e. you need to cut 4 of these panels to make a skirt.
Here is a diagram of my pattern. It is not to scale. If you want to create your own version, you will need to know:
- Your waist measurement. Mine is 28 inches / 71 cm.
- Your hip measurement. Mine is 36 inches / 91 cm.
- The length you want the skirt to be from waist to hem. Mine is 41 inches / 104 cm.
The rest of the dimensions are calculated from these. You will need to do some calculations with circles, so you might find this calculator helpful: http://www.csgnetwork.com/circle_sphere_area_calculator.html
- A = radius of circle used. On mine A was 30 inches / 76 cm. Note that the angle between the two seams is 90 degrees, i.e. a right-angle.
- B = distance from the centre of the circle where the waist-hip section joins (use the hip measurement as the circumference to find B as its related radius). On mine B was 7 inches / 18 cm.
- C = the length of the skirt from hip to hem. Calculated A – B = C. On mine C was 23 inches / 59 cm.
- D = 1/4 of the hip measurement. On mine D was 9 inches / 23 cm.
- E = 1/4 of the waist measurement. On mine E was 7 inches / 18 cm.
- F = length from waist to hip. Calculated H – C = F. On mine F was 34 inches / 86 cm.
- G = width of panel at widest. You might need to know this to work out how it fits on the uncut fabric. You use Pythagoras to work this out, find A² + A² = G². On mine G was 41 inches / 104 cm.
- H = Length of skirt from waist to hem.
BEFORE YOU CUT… You need to add a seam allowance once you have created the template.